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Jimmy Fallon pokes fun at Orillia's Christmas tree lighting fiasco

'It's so embarrassing for all of us. Imagine we hit the news in the U.S,' says commenter after tree lighting in Orillia is ridiculed on the Tonight Show on American television
A different approach was taken to decorating the Christmas tree in downtown Orillia this year as only the trunk of the tree was lit up due to concerns about the deteriorating condition of the tree. Jimmy Fallon made fun of the event last night on The Tonight Show.

If Stephen Leacock were still alive, he'd be smiling this morning.

Last night, Leacock's Mariposa made the big time, hitting the radar of one of America's marquee programs, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon — for all the wrong reasons.

Fallon explained how "a town in Canada" had its "big tree lighting." He showed the video and aired the reaction that was caught at Friday's event in front of the Orillia Opera House in downtown Orillia.

"What the hell?" one person can be heard saying after the trunk was lit up.

"You know you messed up when you get a Canadian mad enough to say hell," Fallon quipped.

Social media reaction was not favourable.

"It's so embarrassing for all of us. Imagine we hit the news in the U.S.," said one commenter on Facebook.

Another person said, pun intended, people should "lighten up. Yes, it was underwhelming. Yes, the commentary was funny. Just remember, though, that we can have a laugh about things without being so damn serious."

The video Fallon aired first went viral after Friday night's Christmas tree lighting in downtown Orillia fizzled spectacularly. And while there were good reasons for the decision to light the blue spruce's trunk and not the boughs, the spectacle unfolded live, without any explanation to the audience.

The annual tree-lighting event is part of the children's candlelight parade, organized by the Downtown Orillia BIA.